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The Great War's Pompeii

Discussion in 'Military History' started by GRW, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
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    Stirling, Scotland
    "This week more than 80 soldiers who perished during the Great War will finally be laid to rest with full military honours close to where they fell on the Western Front.
    These burials, including those of 13 British soldiers who were killed more than a century ago, are the result of one of the most extraordinary archaeological discoveries of modern times.
    It is a project that has yielded what the lead archaeologist on the dig describes as 'the First World War's Pompeii': an unprecedented snapshot of life on the front line from 1914 to 1918.
    In fact, this rich historical find would have been lost for ever were it not for the determination of a passionate young Belgian archaeologist and his supporters, who organised a unique crowdfunding project to raise the money needed to carry out the dig on a site in Belgium little bigger than two football pitches.
    This is believed to be the first time crowdfunding has been used to pay for a wartime archaeological dig.
    In the event, the scale of the discoveries from the 'Dig Hill 80' project surpassed even the archaeologists' wildest expectations: the human remains from an estimated 110 soldiers and thousands of artefacts.
    Just days ahead of the burials of most of these servicemen in Belgium on Thursday and Friday, I was given an exclusive insight into the secrets that the dig has yielded from Simon Verdegem, the lead archaeologist on the project.
    At his first-floor office on the outskirts of the Flemish city of Bruges, Verdegem pointed to rifles, revolvers, bullets, helmets, uniforms, buttons, belt buckles and other artefacts from the dig, as well as more personal items such as watches, toothbrushes, water bottles, cooking utensils and a harmonica.
    Each artefact, or small group of artefacts, has been numbered from 1 to 3,300 by the discovery team.
    Verdegem, 36, a father-of-three, even showed me a perfectly preserved HP Sauce glass bottle that had clearly been brought to the front line by a British soldier, perhaps keen to disguise the grim taste of war-time rations."
  2. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Jun 5, 2008
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    Well done, those humans.

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